Turn the Slide into a Surge

As classroom time with students comes to a close, we must make a concerted effort to ensure summer is a time of continued growth and achievement. Research shows summer reading loss disproportionally impacts under-resourced students attributing as much as 85 percent of the opportunity gap between well- and under-resourced students to the “summer slide.” Additionally, research shows, learning or reading skill losses during the summer months are cumulative. By the time a striving reader reaches middle school, summer reading loss has accumulated to a two-year lag in reading achievement.
As educators, we can change this narrative and transform the summer into a time for equitable learning for all students. Providing students with 365-day access to texts is one of the most potent strategies we have to create high-quality learning opportunities during the summer. Sending students home with culturally relevant texts that match their unique interests ignites learning.

If we want our students to have sustained, successful reading opportunities, we must make a point to communicate with families about the power of summer reading and the effects of the summer slide. Studies show that students, especially in lower grades, need continued support from an adult to derive the optimal benefits from summer reading. If we are going to set our students up for success, we first need to set their families up to support their learning in a meaningful way.
Scholastic Education, one of our educational partners, offers high-quality summer reading solutions that can be seamlessly incorporated into your 365-day literacy framework. By countering the summer slide, these evidence-based resources can be an invaluable part of your strategy to close the opportunity gap and create equitable outcomes for all students. Learn more about Scholastic’s My Books Summer Take-Home Packs—a powerful and economical way to provide rich reading and writing experiences that will keep your students on track for success this summer. For more information on the impact of partnering with Scholastic to implement high-quality summer reading initiatives, click here.
We play a vital role in cultivating positive learning outcomes for our students—especially during the summer months. Together, with our families and communities, we can reverse the narrative of the summer slide transforming it into the story of the summer leap: A story of achievement for all students in Arizona.

See the following links for more information on the importance of implementing high-quality summer reading initiatives or visit:

Summer by the Numbers Infograph: National Learning Summer Association
Calculating the Return on Investment in Summer Learning: NSLA Report
How to Make Summer Reading Effective: NSLA Report
Summer is Around the Corner: Is your School Ready
Education Week: Summer Learning Gaps Worsen

Mark Joraanstad, Ed. D.
Arizona School Administrators
602 252 0361
mjoraanstad@azsa.org